Attendees at the March networking luncheon had a chance to learn about the services offered by the Central Region Small Business Transportation Resource Center (SBTRC). Held March 16, 2018 at the Blue Moose in Lenexa, the event featured guest speaker Dr. Kenneth Jones with the U.S. Department of Transportation.

As Program Manager for the Central Region SBTRC, Dr. Jones helps connect small business owners with resources for success. “Our mission,” said Jones, “is to increase the number of small businesses that are working on federally funded transportation jobs.”

The SBTRC offers contractor development, business counseling, financial assistance, and bonding assistance. When funding allows, the center also offers the Women and Girls in Transportation Initiative (WITI). All of these programs are designed to complement state services, such as those offered by the KDOT DBE supportive services.

The 3 Cs of Bonding: Bonding is all about making sure you can get the job done. Character - What do people say about you? - Make sure that the work you do is high quality. Build relationships and ask for recommendations. Show up on time, every time. Capacity - Can you do the job? - Make sure that you have enough employees to get the job done. Build your skills and experience so that you are ready to tackle new projects. Capital - Do you have the money to complete the job? - Keep your financial house in order. - Build and safeguard your credit history. - Be realistic about the size of jobs you pursue.

At the luncheon, Dr. Jones discussed bond readiness as well as common challenges such as poor credit history and growth management. He gave an overview of how the SBTRC can help DBEs navigate the bonding process. The SBTRC offers a series of workshops designed to help DBEs become bond ready or increase bond capacity. Because the purpose of bonding is to make sure the job can be completed, he emphasized the 3 Cs of bonding.

3 Cs of Bonding:

  1. Character – What do people say about you and your work?
  2. Capacity – Can you do the job on your own?
  3. Capital – Do you have the money to complete the job?

In addition to Dr. Jones’ presentation, participants also learned more about upcoming resources and events. These included soon-to-be launched social media online training and a book discussion conference call.

The March event is part of a series of networking luncheons planned for 2018. Planned for the third Friday of each month, the luncheons will be held at various locations across Kansas. Each event will feature a topic and guest speaker as well as ample time to network with fellow participants. The next networking luncheon will be held on Friday, April 20 in Wichita.